Napier, New Zealand
Napier, New Zealand

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Mathur S.,University of Auckland | Plank L.D.,University of Auckland | McCall J.L.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit | Shapkov P.,University of Auckland | And 6 more authors.
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2010

Background: Major surgery is associated with postoperative insulin resistance which is attenuated by preoperative carbohydrate (CHO) treatment. The effect of this treatment on clinical outcome after major abdominal surgery has not been assessed in a double-blind randomized trial. Methods: Patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery or liver resection were randomized to oral CHO or placebo drinks to be taken on the evening before surgery and 2 h before induction of anaesthesia. Primary outcomes were postoperative length of hospital stay and fatigue measured by visual analogue scale. Results: Sixty-nine and 73 patients were evaluated in the CHO and placebo groups respectively. The groups were well matched with respect to surgical procedure, epidural analgesia, laparoscopic procedures, fasting period before induction and duration of surgery. Postoperative changes in fatigue score from baseline did not differ between the groups. Median (range) hospital stay was 7 (2-35) days in the CHO group and 8 (2-92) days in the placebo group (P = 0-344). For patients not receiving epidural blockade or laparoscopic surgery (20 CHO, 19 placebo), values were 7 (3-11) and 9 (2-48) days respectively (P = 0-054). Conclusion: Preoperative CHO treatment did not improve postoperative fatigue or length of hospital stay after major abdominal surgery. A benefit is not ruled out when epidural blockade or laparoscopic procedures are not used. Registration number: ACTRN012605000456651 (http://www.anzctr.org.au). © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.


Visvanathan K.,Monash University | Lang T.,Monash Institute of Medical Research | Ryan K.,Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity | Wilson R.,Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis | Year: 2016

Patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) have suppressed TLR2 expression, function and cytokine production. The aim of this study was to explore the importance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype in innate immune responses and investigate whether Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression/function has potential roles as predictive biomarkers of successful therapy with pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) therapy of HBeAg seroconversion in HBeAg-positive patients. We showed that as early as 4 weeks after initiation of Peg-IFN, future HBeAg seroconverters had significantly elevated levels of TLR2 expression on monocytes. TLR2-associated IL-6 production at baseline and week 4 of therapy and TLR4 IL-6 production at week 4 were also markedly elevated in HBeAg seroconverters. HBV genotype also influenced treatment response, with genotypes A and B more likely to seroconvert than D. We were able to demonstrate that these differences were due in part to the interaction of the specific HBeAg proteins with TLR pathway adaptor molecules, and these interactions were genotype dependent. HBeAg-mediated modulation of TLR signalling was also observed in Huh7 cells, following stimulation with Pam3Cys. Importantly, the addition of IFN-α to TLR2-stimulated cells cotransfected with an HBeAg expression plasmid reversed HBeAg-mediated suppression of hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate that patients with an activated inflammatory response are much more likely to respond to IFN therapy, with TLR responses showing promise as potential biomarkers of HBeAg seroconversion in this setting. Furthermore, our findings suggest there is differential genotype-specific HBeAg suppression of innate signalling pathways which may account for some of the clinical differences observed across the CHB spectrum. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Yoshida E.M.,University of British Columbia | Sulkowski M.S.,Johns Hopkins University | Gane E.J.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit | Herring R.W.,Quality Medical Research PLLC | And 14 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2015

Historically, clinical trials of regimens to treat chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have used, as their primary efficacy endpoint, a sustained virological response (SVR)-defined as HCV RNA levels below a designated threshold of quantification-24 weeks after the end of treatment (SVR24). More recently, regulatory authorities have begun to accept SVR at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) as a valid efficacy endpoint because of its high rate of concordance with SVR24. However, the concordance between SVR12 and SVR24 has not been systematically assessed with new regimens of recently approved direct-acting antiviral agents. The aim of this study was to assess the concordance between SVR at various post-treatment time points in phase III clinical trials of sofosbuvir (SOF)-containing regimens. We conducted a retrospective analysis of five trials enrolling 863 patients infected with HCV genotypes 1-6. The concordance between SVR at 4 weeks post-treatment (SVR4) and SVR12, and between SVR12 and SVR24, were determined, as well as positive predictive values (PPVs) and negative predictive values (NPVs). Overall, 779 of 796 patients (98.0%) with an SVR4 also achieved an SVR12, making the PPV of SVR4 for SVR12 98% and the NPV 100%. Of the 779 patients with an SVR12, 777 (99.7%) also achieved an SVR24, making the PPV of SVR12 for SVR24 >99% and the NPV 100%. Of patients who relapsed post-therapy, 77.6% did so within 4 weeks of completing therapy. Conclusion: Data from phase III studies demonstrate that with SOF-based regimens, with or without interferon, SVR12 and SVR24 correlate closely. Thus, SVR12 can be used effectively to determine "cure" rates in trials and in clinical practice. © 2014 The Authors.


PubMed | Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Monash University, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Monash Institute of Medical Research and New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of viral hepatitis | Year: 2016

Patients with hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) have suppressed TLR2 expression, function and cytokine production. The aim of this study was to explore the importance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype in innate immune responses and investigate whether Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression/function has potential roles as predictive biomarkers of successful therapy with pegylated interferon (Peg-IFN) therapy of HBeAg seroconversion in HBeAg-positive patients. We showed that as early as 4 weeks after initiation of Peg-IFN, future HBeAg seroconverters had significantly elevated levels of TLR2 expression on monocytes. TLR2-associated IL-6 production at baseline and week 4 of therapy and TLR4 IL-6 production at week 4 were also markedly elevated in HBeAg seroconverters. HBV genotype also influenced treatment response, with genotypes A and B more likely to seroconvert than D. We were able to demonstrate that these differences were due in part to the interaction of the specific HBeAg proteins with TLR pathway adaptor molecules, and these interactions were genotype dependent. HBeAg-mediated modulation of TLR signalling was also observed in Huh7 cells, following stimulation with Pam3Cys. Importantly, the addition of IFN- to TLR2-stimulated cells cotransfected with an HBeAg expression plasmid reversed HBeAg-mediated suppression of hepatocytes. These findings demonstrate that patients with an activated inflammatory response are much more likely to respond to IFN therapy, with TLR responses showing promise as potential biomarkers of HBeAg seroconversion in this setting. Furthermore, our findings suggest there is differential genotype-specific HBeAg suppression of innate signalling pathways which may account for some of the clinical differences observed across the CHB spectrum.


Plank L.D.,University of Auckland | Mathur S.,University of Auckland | Gane E.J.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit | Peng S.-L.,University of Auckland | And 5 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2015

Preliminary work suggested that perioperative immunonutrition (IMN) enriched in n-3 fatty acids, arginine, and nucleotides may improve preoperative nutritional status, enhance postoperative recovery, and reduce postoperative infectious complications in patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT). The current study examined these outcomes in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Patients wait-listed for LT (n=120) were randomized to either supplemental (0.6 L/d) oral IMN or an isocaloric control (CON). Enteral IMN or CON was resumed postoperatively and continued for at least 5 days. The change in total body protein (TBP) measured by neutron activation from study entry until immediately prior to LT was the primary endpoint and TBP measurements were repeated 10, 30, 90, 180, and 360 days after LT. Infectious complications were recorded for the first 30 postoperative days. Nineteen patients died or were delisted prior to LT. Fifty-two IMN and 49 CON patients received supplemental nutrition for a median (range) 56 (0-480) and 65 (0-348) days, respectively. Preoperative changes in TBP were not significant (IMN: 0.06±0.15 [SEM]; CON: 0.12±0.10 kg). Compared to baseline, a 0.7±0.2 kg loss of TBP was seen in both groups at 30 days after LT (P<0.0001) and, at 360 days, TBP had not increased significantly (IMN: 0.08±0.19 kg; CON: 0.26±0.23 kg). Infectious complications occurred in 31 (60%) IMN and 28 (57%) CON patients (P=0.84). The median (range) postoperative hospital stay was 10 (5-105) days for IMN and 10 (6-27) days for CON patients (P=0.68). Conclusion: In patients undergoing LT, perioperative IMN did not provide significant benefits in terms of preoperative nutritional status or postoperative outcome. © 2014 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


Liu Y.,Gilead Sciences Inc. | Fung S.,Toronto General Hospital | Gane E.J.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit | Dinh P.,Gilead Sciences Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Medical Virology | Year: 2014

Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is recommended as treatment for chronic hepatitis B patients harboring lamivudine-associated resistance mutations (LAM-R, rtM204V/I±rtL180M). This study evaluated the clinical response of rtM204V and rtM204I subpopulations to TDF by comparing their early viral load decay kinetics to wild-type (WT) subpopulations in chronic hepatitis B patients harboring rtM204V/I prior to initiating TDF or emtricitabine (FTC)/TDF therapy. Allele-specific PCR assays capable of detecting rtM204V or rtM204I subpopulations as low as 0.5% were developed and used to assess patient samples from a Phase 3b study evaluating TDF and FTC/TDF treatment in LAM-R patients. Baseline samples (n=280) were quantified for rtM204V/I subpopulations and rtM204V or rtM204I subpopulations were detected in 269/273 (98.5%) baseline samples with a range of 0.7% to >95%. On-treatment analyses were conducted for seventeen patients (TDF, n=8; FTC/TDF, n=9) that harbored baseline WT and either rtM204V or rtM204I (no rtM204V/I mixtures) and HBV DNA ≥1,000copies/ml at/after week 4. The median change in HBV DNA through week 12 for WT and rtM204V/I subpopulations was similar, -2.64 and -3.30log10copies/ml, respectively, with no significant difference between TDF and FTC/TDF treatment. In conclusion, rtM204V/I subpopulations demonstrate similar early HBV DNA decline kinetics to WT subpopulations during treatment with either TDF or FTC/TDF. These results demonstrate that TDF is similarly active against both WT and rtM204V/I subpopulations in vivo. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Gane E.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
Liver International | Year: 2011

An estimated million people have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. With current treatment success rates, by 2030, more than 40% will be cirrhotic and the number of cases with end-stage liver disease is projected to treble. Current standard-of-care is the combination of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin for 24-48 weeks. Unfortunately this is associated with poor efficacy (45% in HCV GT1; 75% in GT2 and 65% in GT 3) and tolerability. Many patients are either unsuitable for or decline current treatment infection because of the significant side-effects associated with this treatment, including those with decompensated cirrhosis or sever psychiatric illness. It is hoped that the development of direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) will address this huge unmet medical need. The addition of a protease inhibitor to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin is associated with increase in efficacy and shortened duration of therapy in patients with HCV GT1 and is likely to become the new standard-of-care. However, triple therapy will not be suitable for patients with non-1 HCV infection, or contraindications to interferon. It is hoped that the combination of multiple DAAs which target different steps of HCV replication should provide interferon-free treatment regimen. Current and planned studies will determine which combination (protease, nonnucleoside polymerase, nucleoside polymerase, NS5A, cyclophyllin B inhibitors), how many DAAs and duration of therapy will be required to optimise cure. It will also be important to minimise the emergence of multi-resistance, which would jeopardise future retreatment options. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Gavin C.,University of Auckland | Malpas P.J.,University of Auckland | Bartlett A.,New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
New Zealand Medical Journal | Year: 2015

AIM: To explore the motivations and experiences of New Zealand’s live liver donors, and their opinions on New Zealand’s current organ donation system. METHOD: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to all 45 of New Zealand’s live liver donors in November 2012. RESULT: 21 responses were collated with an even gender split. Half of the participants were parents of the recipient. Despite the risks of surgery and associated post-surgical pain, all participants were satisfied by how the transplant went for the recipient and for themselves. 90% thought people should save lives if they can, with 18 (86%) disagreeing with New Zealand’s current method of allowing family members to veto the deceased person’s wishes on organ donation (on their driver’s license). 95% thought that education was important in encouraging people to donate. CONCLUSION: This unique and informed group have experienced both what it means to have a loved one waiting for a transplant and how it feels to be an organ donor. If New Zealand is serious about wanting to increase deceased organ donation rates, we should consider the experiences such as those who have undergone live donation. © NZMA.


PubMed | New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
Type: | Journal: Liver international : official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver | Year: 2011

An estimated million people have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. With current treatment success rates, by 2030, more than 40% will be cirrhotic and the number of cases with end-stage liver disease is projected to treble. Current standard-of-care is the combination of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin for 24-48 weeks. Unfortunately this is associated with poor efficacy (45% in HCV GT1; 75% in GT2 and 65% in GT 3) and tolerability. Many patients are either unsuitable for or decline current treatment infection because of the significant side-effects associated with this treatment, including those with decompensated cirrhosis or sever psychiatric illness. It is hoped that the development of direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) will address this huge unmet medical need. The addition of a protease inhibitor to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin is associated with increase in efficacy and shortened duration of therapy in patients with HCV GT1 and is likely to become the new standard-of-care. However, triple therapy will not be suitable for patients with non-1 HCV infection, or contraindications to interferon. It is hoped that the combination of multiple DAAs which target different steps of HCV replication should provide interferon-free treatment regimen. Current and planned studies will determine which combination (protease, nonnucleoside polymerase, nucleoside polymerase, NS5A, cyclophyllin B inhibitors), how many DAAs and duration of therapy will be required to optimise cure. It will also be important to minimise the emergence of multi-resistance, which would jeopardise future retreatment options.

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